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Norovirus - a Gastrointestinal Malaise: Symptoms and Remedies

Norovirus - a Gastrointestinal Malaise: Symptoms and Remedies

Norovirus is a virus that is composed of Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) and a protein coating that surrounds it. Also known as a stomach bug, there are more than 25 strains of Noroviruses that affect humans. The medical fraternity has known the virus since 1929. Countries that are above the equator line report a sizable number of all Norovirus cases between November and April, and countries that are below the equator report maximum cases between May and September. In such regions that are closer to the equator, Norovirus may be less seasonal.

Norovirus Symptoms

Norovirus causes gastroenteritis in people. It leads to the swelling of the intestines and lining of the stomach. Norovirus is a highly transmissible virus, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache/cramping. Norovirus disease is also called by other terms, such as stomach flu and food poisoning. It is often mistaken as influenza due to common symptoms, whereas both of them are different. Influenza is a respiratory infection that is caused by the influenza virus.

Norovirus can be severe

  • Norovirus symptoms also include diarrhea and vomiting multiple times a day. It can make you feel highly sick. 
  • In a few cases, people may get highly dehydrated, mainly youngsters and the elderly.
  • Low intense Norovirus symptoms include mild fever, headache, and body ache. 

Norovirus can spread in multiple ways.

Norovirus is highly contagious. It can spread to others by: 

  • Coming in direct contact with the sick person, for example, touching the diseased person.
  • Drinking fluids, such as juices and water, or consuming eatables that are affected with Norovirus. 
  • Touching contaminated objects or surfaces thereby allowing the virus to enter the body. 

Norovirus Prevention - Tips to Avoid It from Spreading 

1. Practice good hygiene 

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap.
  • Wash your hands properly, ideally for 20 seconds, after using the lavatory. 
  • If you have toddlers at home, then wash your hands after changing their diapers. 
  • Maintain a habit of washing hands before and after having food. 
  • In addition to regular washing of hands, hand sanitizers can be used from time to time, especially when you are outside or traveling. 

2. Thoroughly wash vegetables and fruits.

  • Wash all uncooked and raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating them. 
  • Thoroughly cook all food items, especially poultry, meat, eggs and fish, to kill the food poisoning bacteria. Ideally, the food needs to be cooked at a temperature of 75 °C or more. However, Noroviruses are resistant to as high a temperature as 140°F, thus beware.
  • Keep diseased patients, especially children, out of such areas where food gets prepared. 

3. Do isolate yourself and do not come in contact with others.

On getting infected with the Norovirus, the first thing you need to do is to get isolated. Do not venture outside your place of isolation unless advised by your doctor to avoid exposing yourself to others. 

4. Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces 

As soon as you finish throwing up, disinfect the contaminated surface. You can use a chlorine bleach solution or disinfectant that is effective against the disease. Use the disinfectant and bleach solution, as recommended.

Regularly wash clothes

Please do not keep the clothes in the laundry bag after changing. Straightaway, wash your used garments to avoid contamination. You should—

  • Handle stained items cautiously without stirring them
  • Wear disposable or latex gloves while holding soiled items. 
  • Properly wash the garments with the cleaning agent.

Prevention is the best way to treat Norovirus. Just follow the preventive measures recommended above, and your chances of contracting it will be greatly reduced. If you experience any symptoms, please do not wait to see a doctor. Remember, prevention is the best medicine.

By: 1Tab Desk | on 2021-08-17

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